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Open AccessArticle

Genome-Wide Identification of Long Non-Coding RNAs and Their Regulatory Networks Involved in Apis mellifera ligustica Response to Nosema ceranae Infection

College of Bee Science, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Insects 2019, 10(8), 245; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080245
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biology of Social Insect Diseases)
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a diverse class of transcripts that structurally resemble mRNAs but do not encode proteins, and lncRNAs have been proven to play pivotal roles in a wide range of biological processes in animals and plants. However, knowledge of expression patterns and potential roles of honeybee lncRNA response to Nosema ceranae infection is completely unknown. Here, we performed whole transcriptome strand-specific RNA sequencing of normal midguts of Apis mellifera ligustica workers (Am7CK, Am10CK) and N. ceranae-inoculated midguts (Am7T, Am10T), followed by comprehensive analyses using bioinformatic and molecular approaches. A total of 6353 A. m. ligustica lncRNAs were identified, including 4749 conserved lncRNAs and 1604 novel lncRNAs. These lncRNAs had minimal sequence similarities with other known lncRNAs in other species; however, their structural features were similar to counterparts in mammals and plants, including shorter exon and intron length, lower exon number, and lower expression level, compared with protein-coding transcripts. Further, 111 and 146 N. ceranae-responsive lncRNAs were identified from midguts at 7-days post-inoculation (dpi) and 10 dpi compared with control midguts. Twelve differentially expressed lncRNAs (DElncRNAs) were shared by Am7CK vs. Am7T and Am10CK vs. Am10T comparison groups, while the numbers of unique DElncRNAs were 99 and 134, respectively. Functional annotation and pathway analysis showed that the DElncRNAs may regulate the expression of neighboring genes by acting in cis and trans fashion. Moreover, we discovered 27 lncRNAs harboring eight known miRNA precursors and 513 lncRNAs harboring 2257 novel miRNA precursors. Additionally, hundreds of DElncRNAs and their target miRNAs were found to form complex competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks, suggesting that these DElncRNAs may act as miRNA sponges. Furthermore, DElncRNA-miRNA-mRNA networks were constructed and investigated, the results demonstrated that a portion of the DElncRNAs were likely to participate in regulating the host material and energy metabolism as well as cellular and humoral immune host responses to N. ceranae invasion. Our findings revealed here offer not only a rich genetic resource for further investigation of the functional roles of lncRNAs involved in the A. m. ligustica response to N. ceranae infection, but also a novel insight into understanding the host-pathogen interaction during honeybee microsporidiosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: long non-coding RNA; competitive endogenous RNA; regulatory network; honeybee; Nosema ceranae; stress response; immune defense long non-coding RNA; competitive endogenous RNA; regulatory network; honeybee; Nosema ceranae; stress response; immune defense
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, D.; Chen, H.; Du, Y.; Zhou, D.; Geng, S.; Wang, H.; Wan, J.; Xiong, C.; Zheng, Y.; Guo, R. Genome-Wide Identification of Long Non-Coding RNAs and Their Regulatory Networks Involved in Apis mellifera ligustica Response to Nosema ceranae Infection. Insects 2019, 10, 245. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080245

AMA Style

Chen D, Chen H, Du Y, Zhou D, Geng S, Wang H, Wan J, Xiong C, Zheng Y, Guo R. Genome-Wide Identification of Long Non-Coding RNAs and Their Regulatory Networks Involved in Apis mellifera ligustica Response to Nosema ceranae Infection. Insects. 2019; 10(8):245. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080245

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Dafu; Chen, Huazhi; Du, Yu; Zhou, Dingding; Geng, Sihai; Wang, Haipeng; Wan, Jieqi; Xiong, Cuiling; Zheng, Yanzhen; Guo, Rui. 2019. "Genome-Wide Identification of Long Non-Coding RNAs and Their Regulatory Networks Involved in Apis mellifera ligustica Response to Nosema ceranae Infection" Insects 10, no. 8: 245. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects10080245

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